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Surprise! Maureen Feeney only person to meet criteria set by City Council to hire Maureen Feeney

The Dorchester Reporter posts a copy of Council President Steve Murphy's recommendation that the full council hire former Councilor Feeney for the post of city clerk - which includes a bonus denunciation of a Globe story daring to question the timing of her interview for the post. The council is scheduled to vote tomorrow to appoint Feeney.



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a) why do we need 14 people on staff when the clerk can spend about a third of his/her time performing weddings on the side

and b) what the hell do all these people do? that's the equivalent of one additional aide per councilor. And that $1 million budget doesn't include health insurance and pension which adds at least another quarter million - probably more.

This is what I mean when I say we are easily 5-10% overstaffed at city hall.

Nice on the day that we find out the average tax on a single family home in Boston went up almost 5%.

Here are the positions (actually it's a staff of 13 - the headcount includes the City Clerk) - all serving a body that meets once a week and generates almost no work product beyond constituent services and has several dozen of their own staff

City Clerk 98,388
Prin Admin Assistant 87,083
Adm Assistant 57,171
Adm Sec 50,842
2 Prin Adm. Assistant 159,353
2 Head Clerk & Secretary 89,931
Sr Adm Assistant 66,540
Asst City Clerk 84,603
3 Admin Anl (AsArchivCity/Clrk) 174,302
Data Proc Sys Analyst 79,677

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Oops, you must have had your post cut off. You don't provide job descriptions for the city employees.


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The clerk's office staff also includes the city archives which has a separate facility. I imagine some of these 14 people actually don't work at City Hall but at the separate archives facility. And a city that's been around as long as Boston probably has a sizeable number of records to curate. That might account for what does seem to be an unusually large staff.

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all serving a body that meets once a week and generates almost no work product beyond constituent services and has several dozen of their own staff

Wow. As Stevil notes, this includes pension (huge), excellent bennies and tons of sick days. Way out of whack with reality.

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You seem to have such a clear idea about what these people's jobs are, what they should be, what work there is to do, and how many people it should take ... get yourself hired as a consultant already!

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But you know as well as I do the RFP would be a carbon copy of the job posting and then after a nationwide search the amazing selection would be - drumroll - Rosaria Salerno.

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But you know as well as I do the RFP would be a carbon copy of the job posting and then after a nationwide search the amazing selection would be - drumroll - Rosaria Salerno.

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more transparency is needed, and the insulting way they went about appointing Feeney is not appreciated.

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I typically love your snark, but I think by this point you've been Noticed around town for this site.

I cringed when I read this headline (while not expecting anything but this exact result). Sometimes, telling the Emperor he has no clothes on is the worst thing you can do.

And that fact earns a Cripes.

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I'm not understanding your logic. Can you elaborate?

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Makeup!... makeup on the former Councilor as mime artist

The current Boston City Clerks office

Many in City Hall go through the motions but don't do the job better. In the case of Boston City Clerk and Assistant City Clerk and the Senior Administrative Assistant, more time could be taken to search far and wide as the Assistant City Clerk and the Senior Administrative Assistant have operated the office of Boston City Clerk themselves at times. An important position like Boston City Clerk should be filled by an advocate for Sunshine open public meetings and FOI Freedom of Information public records principles of Open Government. Presidents of Boston City Council have been notorious for blocking access, closed practices, diverting enquiries for public records of the Council. If anything having been a President of Boston City Council could disqualify a candidate for City Clerk.

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the Principal Admin Asst for the City Clerk is indeed the Archivist for the City of Boston, and yes it is a significant amount of work. He does more than the archives, for instance was called in during the City Hall email brohaha. too bad he couldn't have been called in regarding Romney's email disappearance. gotta defend him, he's a friend of mine and I know he's more qualified than any other commentor here...

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Archivist is a very important job, so I wouldn't sweat that

But Stevil does bring up some good questions. And the transparently disgusting "effort" to appear to be looking for a qualified candidate to fill the Clerk office is insulting to Boston taxpayers.

The number one issue that should have been brought up was her ditching her responsibilities and constituents and leaving them without a representative; to get a nice cushy job. Whats to say she won't do the same now? Why should taxpayers be forced to support that.

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[How does a city get the best City Clerk?...]

[Boston City Seal]

God Be with Us as He Was with Our Fathers.

Boston, Founded in the Year of Our Lord 1630.

City Status Granted by the Authority of the State in the Year of Our Lord 1822.

Boston City Council
[email protected]

One City Hall Square 5th Floor
Boston MA 02201
tel 617 635-3040
fax 617 635-4203

December 21, 2011

Dear Councilors:

As there is no formal docket before the Council regarding the City Clerk, I am writing to outline for you the process for filling the position of City Clerk.[Why not formal?]

Posting of the Position
The position was posted on the City of Boston Career Center website for seven days, beginning on November 25, 2011. At the end of the posting period, there were 26 applicants.[Why only 7 days?]

Rationale for Qualifications Identified in Job Description
the components identified in the job description tie into the day-to-day responsibilities of the Clerk generally within the Office of the Clerk as well as the specific responsibilities of the Clerk in relation to the working relationship with the City Council.

Government/Legislative Experience: Experience in a public agency, particularly in the legislative environment, ties directly to the responsibilities of the Clerk in relation to Council activities.

Leading an Agency, including Budget and Personnel: In FY2012, the Clerk's Office has a general fund budget of $1M, with nearly 30 percent focused on Council related services, and a National Archive grant of $90,000. The budget has a staff of 14, including several located outside of City Hall at the Archives in West Roxbury.

City Charter, Public Records and Open Meeting Law: The Clerk is responsible for implementing the Open Meeting Law process for Council meetings and hearings, particularly posting and executive sessions. As for Public Records Laws, the City Clerk's Office, as the keeper of the City's records, is one of the primary departments responsible for all documents, including the legislation offered and approved by the City Council and Mayor.[Why are full transcripts of public meetings removed from City Hall?][Why aren't full transcripts of public meetings available?]

Robert's Rules: One of the primary functions of the City Clerk is to serve as the Parliamentarian to the City Council at its weekly meetings.[Why not a more independent parliamentarian?]

Review of Applicants for Qualification
Lorraine Schettino and Ann Braga reviewed the resumes of the 26 applicants against the criteria set forth in the job description. Each staff member reviewed the applicants' resumes independently and determined the three highest qualified candidates. The criteria were: Bachelor's Degree, 10 years government experience, with legislative experience preferred; 2 years planning, organizing and directing a public agency, including formulation, implementation and oversight of agency funding; experience with personnel management; working knowledge of the City Charter, Public Records and Open Meeting Laws and Robert's Rules. Based on a review of the applicants' resumes, thirteen were eliminated due to lack of a Bachelor's degree. Of the remaining applicants, seven had government experience and only three had ten or more years combined in government experience and leadership/personnel experience. Only Maureen Feeney met all of the requirements. The three top candidates were invited to participate in the interviews and two accepted. Those were: Natalie Carithers and Maureen Feeney.

On December 12, 2011, the Committee on Rules and Administration held a publicly noticed meeting to interview the two finalists -- Maureen Feeney and Natalie Carithers. This was the first time that Councillors interacted with the finalists.[Not so.] Members of the press and members of the public were present. All six members of the Committee and two additional Councillors were present and asked similar questions of both candidates. Both applicants did a good job in responding to the questions.

Issue of Possible Conflict of Interest
In his December 13th article on the selection process for the City Clerk position, Andrew Ryan alleges that the interview of Maureen Feeney may have violated to[sic.] ethics rules. I find it frustrating that rather than focusing on the Council's efforts to hold public interviews of the City Clerk for the first time in the history of that position or highlighting the Council's continued efforts to comply with the Open Meeting Law, instead Mr. Ryan took the efforts by staff to ensure compliance with the Open Meeting Law as a basis to raise an unfounded allegation about violations of the ethics rules.

The 30-day "cooling-off period" [should be longer] is in place in order to ensure that the most qualified applicants can apply for the position of City Clerk. Nothing prohibits the posting of the job at an earlier time, and nothing prohibits a former City Councilor from applying at an earlier time. All that is required is that the City Council cannot take any action until the 30 days has run its course. The Council did not interview former City Councilor[Councilor, Councillor spelled both ways in same public document] Maureen Feeney until the 30-day cooling off period had run. All logistics of receiving and screening applications was[were] conducted by staff. Staff alone weeded out the unqualified candidates and selected the three qualified for interviews. As I noted to Mr. Ryan, one of the selected applicants informed staff that she did not want to go through the public interview process and thus pulled her application.

It is important to note that the interview process was public not only in the interest of transparency, but also to comply with the Open Meeting Law. The Open Meeting Law requires 48 hours notice in advance of a public meeting, excluding weekends. We were under a tight timeline to have a new City Clerk in place for 2012,[There's an Assistant City Clerk already.] and it was strict compliance with the Open Meeting Law that caused staff to schedule the interviews when they did so that the public could be duly noticed of the meeting at which the interviews were to be conducted.

The City Council, with guidance from Corporation Counsel, worked thoughtfully on the process of selecting a new City Clerk. The Council complied with both the open meeting law and the ethics laws and conducted interviews of the most qualified applicants for the position of City Clerk.

Next Steps
I will ask that as part of the meeting on December 21, 2011, that the Council elect a new Clerk for the City of Boston. Based on the experience identified in the resume and the interview, I will recommend that the Council elect Maureen Feeney as the next City Clerk, as she was the only applicant to meet all of the qualifications in the job description, and she demonstrated the depth and breadth of her knowledge and experience that will best assist the Council as it moves forward.
Stephen J. Murphy, President

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If you must refrain from telling the truth, and can't wow the crowds with wit, then bowl them over with b.s.

In just a few weeks we learn of the Kabuki dance concerning the City Clerk which wasted money by going through the motions of filling the position since the outcome was already known. This week we learn that retired Jack Wilson, former president of UMass will be paid over $400,000 while he plays scholar for a year on sabbatical and will be paid over $300,000 when he teaches next year. Just how many Massachusetts citizens get to enjoy a $400,000 sabatical?

How elected and appointment officials treat those of us not positioned to suckle from the public teat is demoralizing. But they have what they want: a high degree of apathy that allows them to suck the life out of government. Add that god forbid a newspaper should criticize someone as noble as Councilor Murphy! His bloomers get all bunched up when someone says his b.s. does stink.

Add to that the parasitical details and we have plenty of money that magically floats into the hands of people who don't deserve them. Just this week I saw a Boston cop "guarding" an oversized cheery picker that had two wheels on the road while the remainder was on the sidewalk. The vehicle was used to do roof work on a Boston public school. I had to laugh: this was double dipping at it purist elegance: a city cop, paid by property taxes, again paid by another city department (again from property taxes) to provide a service which was utterly unnecessary.

Yet the property tax rate continues to increase by 2% year after year. I'd like to change my official designation of Massachusetts and Bostonian taxpayer to Mass Cash Cow. Mooooooo....

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